Bouldering is the most popular climbing technique, likely because of its simplicity. Another factor could be how challenging it is at the same time. If you learn how to boulder, you will be able to try moves that will push both your physical and mental limits.
Even though bouldering refers to the activity done on outside boulders, you will most likely learn the bouldering basics inside a gym. Luckily, there are many available bouldering areas, so it will not be difficult to choose a perfect spot. In this article, we will present you with all you need to know if you’re just getting familiar with this exciting sport.
How to Boulder: Beginner’s Guide
Before you start learning the bouldering basics, you need to get quality bouldering shoes that are specifically designed for the rocky terrain. Once you have the right equipment, you can start practicing with your rear or feet placed on a bouldering pad. From there, you will have to climb up and tackle the bouldering problem, and that is exactly how you will be moving along the small rocks most of the time.
Stacking pads can form a two-three feet high support area that will help you reach a hold more easily. Besides, they can help you skip the lower moves which will, in turn, make you arrive at the upper ones with more power. Once you are completely sure you have mastered the basic moves, you can remove the stack.
Injury-Free Bouldering Techniques
To master the bouldering basics and learn how to boulder, you need to practice safe moves. Here are some helpful tips for injury-free bouldering:
Raise your body temperature and heart rate. 2. Combine mobility exercises that focus on the arms with easy climbing. 3. Slowly build up the difficulty.
2. Know Your Limits
It is important not to attempt moves that go beyond your experience and stamina levels. In the case of junior climbers, you should reduce the bouldering intensity and volume during the growth spurts.
3. Rest Between Climbing Attempts
A good rule of thumb states that you need to rest for 1 minute after every completed hand move. Take a 10-15-minute break every half an hour to avoid injury. Don’t stretch your arms during the break but always remember to stretch your legs. Also, do the warm-up session every time you take a break longer than 15 minutes.
4. Switch Climbing Styles
You should avoid tackling the same problem for more than 30 minutes. Try something else or use a different angle or style of holds.
5. Try High-Risk Moves and Holds
To develop strength and proper skills for bouldering, you shouldn’t stay away from more complicated moves unless you are injured. However, bear in mind you should be extra cautious when attempting such maneuvers.
6. Choose the Proper Grip
You should be aware of pockets, underlings, and side pulls that may injure your fingers. The safest grip you can go for is the open-hand. Besides, it is important to watch for big dynos and shoulder moves. Climbing chalk can reduce the sweatiness of your palms which can lead to a better grip. You can read more about the best chalk bag selection here.
7. Rest Well
The best time to train is when you are feeling recovered an fresh. To avoid injury, you should never attempt to boulder after hard routes.
8. Avoid Overtraining
If you have recently started practicing the bouldering basics, make sure you don’t do it more than 2 or 3 times a week. Intermediate climbers should train 3 to 4 times a week, while advanced climbers can go up to 5 times per week.
9. Build a Strong Base
A strong upper body is a must when it comes to bouldering. Incorporating core-training and weight-training will provide you with sufficient base strength. However, don’t overdo it because your aim is building enough strength without unnecessary bulk.
10. Warm Down
Every bouldering session needs to be finished with static stretches and quick pulse-raising moves.
Q: How Do You Start a Boulder Problem?
A boulder problem refers to a route you need to take when climbing up a boulder. In order to tackle a boulder problem, you need to get a quality bouldering pad. Then, you should place it on your rear or feet on it and start climbing.
Q: How Do I Get a Better Boulder?
In order to become better at bouldering, you need consistent practice as well as applying special techniques. You can apply inward force along with a downward force when stepping on small footholds. Also, it is important to keep your core tight when climbing.
Q: How Do You Boulder Indoors?
It is important to invest in proper equipment in order to be successful at bouldering indoors. Warming up is also essential to avoid injury and achieve great performance. Make sure you think before you move and focus on your balance.
Q: Can You Boulder Without a Crash Pad?
Crash pads are an essential part of bouldering equipment. Even though some climbers prefer practicing without it, it is highly recommended to get a bouldering pad. It will prevent any injuries and ensure risk-free climbing. Make sure you invest in a quality pad.
Q: How Often Should a Beginner Boulder?
A beginner should opt for practicing up to three times a week. Doing it more frequently will only put too much strain on your muscles and make you more prone to injury. For example, you can boulder two times a week as well as strength-train once a week.
Q: What are Boulder Problems?
Boulder problems refer to a specific route a climber needs to take in order to climb up the boulder. They are typically 7-15 feet high and their difficulty can range. It is very important to use a bouldering pad when trying to tackle a boulder problem.
Q: How Do You Get into Outdoor Bouldering?
In order to start outdoor bouldering, you need to slowly transition from your gym. Don’t overdo it in the beginning. Start with the least complex problems and build your way up. It is crucial to learn how to spot and fall in order to prevent injuries.
Q: What is the Difference between Rock Climbing and Bouldering?
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Bouldering is not a very complex climbing technique, even though it can be quite challenging at times. To learn how to boulder, you need to follow special techniques and tips, so you can avoid injury and increase your performance.
Getting the proper equipment, such as bouldering shoes, bouldering pad, climbing chalk, and chalk bag is the first step. Next, you should try tackling an easy boulder problem and keep practicing until you master the moves. Remember to always warm-up before practice, use an open-grip, as well as warm down after you’re done.